If someone asked you how much money you spend on cleaning supplies each year, what would your answer be? Fifty dollars? Maybe a hundred? According to a survey by Statistic Brain, the average American spends about $42 on cleaning supplies each month—that’s more than $500 per year!
Fortunately, there are some simple solutions that can save you tons of money on cleaning supplies. In fact, most messes can be cleaned just as well with ingredients you might already have in your home or pantry! Here’s how to make the most of these cheap, handy supplies—and save some cash while you’re at it! Just make sure to read the warnings at the bottom of this post, as some of these products can be dangerous when improperly combined.
Distilled White Vinegar
Vinegar dissolves all kinds of dirt and mess. Use it and a small brush to clean grimy grout, or mix it with some water to create a cleaning spray. Then spray on mirrors and windows and wipe off for a crystal-clear shine. You can also add a half-cup of vinegar to your coffee machine’s water tank and brew up a batch of hot water to clean and descale your machine.
Rubbing alcohol (also called isopropyl alcohol) makes a great cleaning agent because it’s also a disinfectant. Plus, a little goes a long way. Drip a little onto a paper towel and use it to clean that dirty film that seems to settle on chrome fixtures. You can also use it on mirrors, handheld devices like phones and remotes, and stainless steel. Just be sure to use only a little in a well-ventilated area, as it can create harmful fumes.
You’ve probably seen baking soda in a refrigerator before. You may even keep an open box in your own. This is because baking soda is great at absorbing and neutralizing nasty odors. Don’t worry about buying expensive, scented trash bags. Just sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of your trash can to help with gross old food smells. You can also mix it with a little water to create a paste that will easily help you get rid of greasy, caked on messes. Just avoid scrubbing marble or quartz surfaces with it, as this can cause damage and eventually leave scratches on the surface.
Hydrogen peroxide is a great disinfectant. It’s also an anti-fungal, so it can help you clean and disinfect your showers—apply with a rag or spray bottle, let it sit, and wipe off after 30 minutes. You can also add a cup of it to your load of laundry to kill that musty mold smell in your towels. However, even though it works like bleach it is NOT a color-safe bleach, so beware. It also oxidizes and becomes ineffective quickly when exposed to air or sunlight, so don’t use it in homemade cleaning solutions.
However, there are some items you should NEVER MIX when you make home cleaners.
Here are the products you should never combine.
Bleach and vinegar: This creates chlorine gas, which can cause coughing, breathing issues, and burning eyes.
Baking soda and vinegar: When these two are mixed and stored in a closed container, the container can explode. Plus, the acidic and basic ingredients essentially cancel each other out.
Bleach and ammonia: This creates chloramine gas, which can cause coughing, breathing issues, burning eyes, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar: Mixing the two creates peracetic acid, which irritates the eyes, skin, and respiratory system.
Bleach and rubbing alcohol: This creates chloroform, which is yet another dangerous gas. In fact, it’s safest just to avoid mixing bleach with anything except water.
You may already have these items on hand, which means you can start saving on cleaning costs. Go forth, and enjoy those savings (and that clean house)!
Want to save on other everyday items? Check out our list of this week’s special discounts!